As more incidents of clergy sexual abuse come to light, many individuals are searching for ways to prevent abuse and support survivors who experienced this trauma. Advocates for individuals living in the aftermath of clergy abuse encourage everyone who is willing to help to take one of the simple steps below to support a survivor today.
Many clergy abuse survivors have been unable to talk about the trauma they experienced due to fear. This fear stems from people not believing their story, a feeling of shame and embarrassment, or coercion by their local church. By encouraging survivors to come forward with their stories and listening to their experiences, concerned individuals can help survivors rebuild trust. Providing an invitation to survivors to speak at a local church and starting an open dialogue are important steps in allowing the community to heal. Some survivors benefit from meeting with other individuals who experienced similar trauma. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is part of a large network of support groups that connect survivors throughout the country.
It is important for the public to remain informed about the problem of clergy abuse. Survivor advocacy groups encourage anyone interested in ending or preventing abuse to write letters to editors or the local media, support local organizations focused on exposing institutional cover ups of abuse, and make positive comments on blog posts or online articles written by survivors about their experiences. The more people who talk about abuse, the more state and federal resources can become available to survivors.
In many states, individuals who experienced clergy abuse as a child remain barred from seeking legal justice due to existing statute of limitation laws. Voters can contact their local lawmakers and urge them to reform the existing time restrictions, which make it difficult for survivors to bring their claims to court.
Holding abusive clergy, pastors or church officials who covered up the abuse, responsible for the trauma inflicted by a priest’s sexual misconduct can be a significant part of a survivor’s healing process. Seeking justice against the perpetrators of clergy abuse can include filing a civil lawsuit to obtain compensation for the expenses associated with ongoing medical and psychological treatment, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and lost wages, the severe emotional distress suffered by most survivors. A knowledgeable Camden clergy abuse lawyer can help survivors navigate the complicated issues involved with bringing a claim against a clergy member or the Church based on specific abuse that occurred many years ago.
If you or a loved one experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member, you are not alone. The experienced Camden clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar work with clergy abuse survivors and their families to help them obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clergy abuse survivors throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 856-470-9777 or submit an online inquiry form.